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Alzheimer's May Be Prevented with Later Retirement

The “use it or lose it” theory about brainpower and staying mentally sharp is proving itself true in a recent study conducted by Carole Dufouil, a scientist at INSERM, the French government’s health research agency. This research suggests that people who delay their retirement are at less of a risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease or other types of dementia.

Currently, about 35 million people worldwide have some form of dementia - the mind-robbing Alzheimer’s disease being the most common type. The cause of the disease is not yet known nor is there a cure. However, this study found that for every additional year of work the risk of developing Alzheimer’s or dementia decreased by 3.2 percent!

To conduct this study, Dufouil and her team of researchers used records kept on more than 429,000 workers, most of whom were shopkeepers or craftsmen, such as bakers and woodworkers. These workers on average were age 74 who had been retired for an average of 12 years.

After all information was gathered and reviewed, Dufouil and her team of researchers found that nearly 3 percent had developed dementia, but the risk was lower for each year retirement was delayed. For example, someone who retired at 65 had about a 15 percent lower risk of developing dementia compared to someone who retired at 60.

Although the conclusion is proving the “use it or lose it” theory, this is not necessarily a reason not to retire when you want to. There are many different things one can do to stay cognitively active after retirement. Try taking classes at your local university, attend seminars, join a book club or other social club, and there is always volunteering! If you are retired or plan on retiring, try new things or continue doing the things you enjoy to stay cognitively active and mentally healthy!



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